Reinstalling WordPress: A Step-by-Step Guide

Reinstalling WordPress: A Step-by-Step Guide

There might be several reasons why you stumbled upon this article. Maybe you’re having issues with your WordPress website like errors you don’t know how to fix, or worse, maybe your site got hacked. Or, you just want a fresh start for your site. Whatever the reason, we’ve got your back! Continue reading to find out how to reinstall WordPress without losing content.

There are two major ways to uninstall and reinstall WordPress. You can either reinstall WordPress while keeping all of your existing content or delete all of your files and install a fresh new copy. We shall be looking at both ways of doing this, and then looking at all the different methods of doing so.

Important! Now, whatever you decide to do, we highly recommend doing a backup of your WordPress files before attempting anything. You can do this by simply copying all of your WordPress files into your computer or a cloud drive. As you never know when something might go wrong, having a failsafe just in case is simply the best practice.

Reinstalling WordPress via Administrative Dashboard

This method both reinstalls and keeps all of your content and is probably the most straightforward. This is done using your WordPress dashboard. If you can’t access the dashboard, don’t fret! You will be able to do this manually using the FTP method which we will cover later on in the article.

In any case, using the dashboard is a real breeze. All you need to do is look at the sidebar, then click on Dashboard -> Updates and tap the Re-install Now button.

The WordPress updates page on the dashboard, showing where to click Re-install Now

The process is fully automatic, all you need to do is wait several seconds and you’re all set.

Reinstalling WordPress via Auto-Installer

If pesky errors are what’s keeping you from accessing your WordPress dashboard, you can use the Hostinger auto-installer feature instead.

It’s a similar method to the one mentioned before, as the only difference is that you will have to download and then re-upload your wp-content files manually to reset WordPress installation.

  1. First of all, you’ll need to connect to your account using an FTP client, such as FileZilla.
  2. Once you have access to your files, you need to download your website’s wp-content folder. In FileZilla, on the right-side window (remote site), find and right-click on the wp-content folder and select Download. Your files will be downloaded to your computer to the location you’ve selected on the left-side window (local site). This process might take a few minutes to finish.
Downloading the wp-content folder using FIleZilla.
  1. Now, log in to your Hostinger account and hit the Auto Installer button under the Website section in hPanel. Find and select the WordPress option.
  2. A new window will pop up. Here, fill in the required information, such as login details and website title, and make sure the “Overwrite Existing Files” option is selected. Click Install.
The Install WordPress popup on the hPanel
  1. Go back to your FTP client and make sure to refresh the file and folder lists. From the left-side window, select the previously downloaded wp-content folder, right-click and select Upload. Make sure you’re uploading the files to site’s root directory.
Uploading the wp-content folder to the remote site in FileZilla.

This method replaces the core WordPress files, providing you with a fresh new copy of WordPress while keeping your content files such as themes and plugins unchanged.

Reinstalling WordPress Using WP-CLI

WordPress can also be reinstalled using WP-CLI. It is a command-line tool that is used to customize the installation of your WordPress. It’s capable of adding/removing users, categories, posts, inserting test data as well as replacing or just simply searching in the database. WP-CLI has more features, but we won’t be covering them here.

And just below is a command line that you can freely use to reset WordPress without affecting themes and plugins. By the way, WP-CLI is fully installed and supported on all Hostinger’s WordPress plans.

wp core download --skip-content --force

How to Completely Reinstall WordPress (Delete All Files)

Important! Before saying any more, please keep in mind the following: using this method, all of your content files will be permanently deleted. Be absolutely sure there’s no content worth saving, as once this is done, you won’t be able to undo it.

You might want to do this if you encountered WordPress errors you can’t fix for example. Maybe you just want a clean slate and start everything anew.

With that being out of the way there’s really only two steps involved in the process. First, delete all of your existing WordPress files. Secondly, install a fresh new copy using whichever method you prefer. It’s really that simple. To delete the files use Hostinger file manager or connect via FTP and delete the files that way.

Deleting all the WordPress files via an FTP like FileZilla

Deleting your existing WordPress database is not necessary, even you plan using a new one. However, if you want to completely start over, we don’t blame you. On Hostinger, you can delete the database by navigating to the MySQL Databases section.

Hostinger hPanel Databases section with Delete database option highlighted

Likewise, you can use phpMyAdmin to Drop the database which also wipes out your database completely.

After that’s done, there will be nothing left. Now you can go ahead and start by installing a fresh WordPress copy as if it were a brand new website. Like with reinstalling WordPress itself, there are a few ways of doing this, either automatically or manually depending on your host.

If you’re with a web host like Hostinger, there’s a prepared one-click auto-installer that installs WordPress in a matter of seconds.

Alternatively, you can do this manually which would set you back about five minutes.

We have covered all ways you can install WordPress here. Congratulations, at this point you have an absolutely blank canvas for your website!


Taking all things into account, reinstalling WordPress is a pretty simple process. For a quick recap, here’s how:

  • By using the in-built WordPress dashboard’s Re-install now button.
  • By downloading and then uploading the WordPress files, while excluding the wp-content folder into your server.

And if you’re aiming for the clean slate approach, you just need to delete all the WordPress files and (or) the database. Then simply install a new copy with a method of your choosing.

We hope you enjoyed our guide and if you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment down below.

The author

Leonardus Nugraha

Leo is a Content Specialist and WordPress contributor. Armed with his experience as a WordPress Release Co-Lead and Documentation Team Representative, he loves sharing his knowledge to help people build successful websites. Follow him on LinkedIn.